Star Cast: Manish Paul, Elli Avram, Manish Chaudhary, Varun Badola, Puja Gupta, Raghav Kakkar, Nitesh Pandey, Vikesh Kumar
Director: Saurabh Varma
Indian Express rating: **
Mickey is a hacker. But he is also a slacker. It's not like he wants to either fall in love or do anything else that's constructive, but certain events force him into both situations. On the one hand, there is a lovely lass, and on the other, a gang of cyber thieves. Which way will the fellow with the fastest-acting-virus-on-a-pen-drive swing?
'Mickey Virus' teams a debutant director and a first time lead actor, and a fine supporting cast, and comes up with a film that holds attention for some time, before it gets stretched into a too-long second act. First off, so many films recently have come up with their version of Delhi boys just mooching about, that I've been zoning out.
What I liked about this bunch is that they are not trying too hard, and except for a couple of exaggerations, seem just right for their milieu. They are all appropriately named : apart from Manish Paul’s cocky layabout Mickey the Virus, there is Gupta as Chutney, the lone girl in the group but holding her own, Kakkar as Floppy, and Kumar as Pancho. And Nitesh Pandey, as the Professor, who knows everything.
The cyber 'chors' are also killers. A couple of cops, played by Manish Chaudhary and Varun Badola, shanghai Mickey into cracking the case. A murder follows, and suddenly it's not just fun-and-games. What's also nice is that this is a Delhi that stays away from the tourist slide-shows most 'Dilli films' become: the grungy parts of Nehru Place infested by the computer trade walas and the fake part walas and the cheap knocked together laptops walas are all on display, and our always-connected-hackers roam around this territory with their USB sticks and fastest fingers, speaking the lingo.
It's all fun up to a point, and despite a couple of amateurish edges, the director shows potential. So does Paul. It was also good to see the talented Nitesh Pandey, though I wish he had more to do here. It is Badola, the other criminally underutilised actor, who has a meaty part and makes the most of it, who he is the highlight of this film. Except for the morally correct lines he is made to spout in the end, he plays it